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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Vegan Citrus Glitter cookies

I have to admit I'm a real sucker for citrus desserts. And this cookie so perfectly hit the spot for me. I will definitely be making these again. This recipe is from "Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar"

Vegan Citrus Glitter Cookies

3-4 Tablespoons turbinado or other coarse sugar
1/2 cup nonhydrogenated vegan shortening
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup non-dairy milk (I used rice milk)
2 Tablespoons finely grated citrus zest (I used a combo of orange & lime; I didnt have any lemons in the house)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup a/p flour
2 Tablespoons fine ground cornmeal (I ran my regular cornmeal in a spice mill)
1 Tablespoon corn starch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

*preheat oven 350 F
*line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper
*spoon the coarse sugar onto a plate or shallow bowl & set aside
*cream the shortening & sugar together until light & fluffy, about 90 seconds
*mix in milk, zest, & vanilla
*sift in all remaining ingredients & mix until soft, pliable dough forms (it might look crumbly, but when pressed between fingers it should form easily)
*roll heaping Tablespoons of dough into balls & flatten ball into coarse sugar (only on one side)
*place sugar side up on baking sheet
*bake 10-12 minutes, let cool on baking sheet 2 minutes & then transfer to wire rack
*store in tightly sealed container

Golden Vanilla Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting

This cupcake recipe comes from "Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World". But the frosting recipe is my very own. The combo was very delightful. :)

Golden Vanilla Cupcakes

1 cup non-dairy milk (I used rice milk)
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 cups a/p flour
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup oil (I used sunflower oil)
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

*preheat oven to 350 F
*line muffin tin with paper liners
*whisk milk & acv together & set aside for a few minutes
*beat together milk mixture, oil, sugar, vanilla, & almond extracts
*sift in dry ingredients & mix until no large lumps remain
*fill liners 2/3 way full & bake 20-22 minutes
*transfer to cooling rack & let cool completely before frosting

Buttercream Frosting

8 Tablespoons vegan butter
3 3/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted
3-4 Tabkespoons non-dairy milk (I use rice milk)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

*beat butter 30 seconds, until fluffy
*stop, add sugar, milk, & vanilla
*blend on low about 1 minute
*increase speed & beat another minute

Crock Pot French Rice Pudding

I have to admit I've never been a big fan of rice pudding. The texture of it just isn't very appealing to me. However, I have a feeling my toddler will love it & I know that my hubby loves it. But my hubby AND my toddler can't have dairy. I chose to make this vegan by using rice milk, but you can certainly use cow milk if you prefer. I made this this past weekend & my hubby loved it & ate the whole thing. My toddler, however, has been sick & his appetite hasnt been good, so he didn't even want to taste it. Once his appetite returns I will make it again.

Crock Pot French Rice Pudding

6 cups milk (I used rice milk)
2/3 cup arborio rice (the kind used in paella & risottos)
2/3 cup sugar
1teaspoon ground cinammon OR 1 small cinammon stick
1/2 teaspoon salt

*lightly oil crock insert
*combine all ingredients in crock pot & cook on LOW 6-8 hours

Polenta with Mushrooms

I really like this dish, the flavor of the mushroom mixture is so rich & delicious, it is phenomenal IMHO.

Polenta with Mushrooms

1/2 oz dried porcini mushrooms soaked in 1 cup hot water for 20 minutes
1 small onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 pound mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 cup white wine
1 1/2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
salt & pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups broth
1 cup polenta flour (coarse ground yellow cornmeal)

*lightly oil a 9-10" pie plate & set aside
*bring water & broth to a boil, stir in polenta flour SLOWLY, stirring CONSTANTLY
*reduce heat & add in half of the garlic, salt, & a Tablespoon of EVOO
*cover & simmer about 15 minutes, stirring occasinally
*remove from heat & let stand 5 minutes
*pour into pie plate, packing in & smoothing out top, set aside to firm up about 20 minutes
*drain the porcinis in a strainer, reserving the soaking liquid
*rinse the mushrooms thoroughly & drain; coarsely chop & set aside
*strain the soaking liquid through cheesecloth or a coffee filter & aside
*heat oil & cook onion about 3 minutes
*add the remaining garlic, cook, stirring, about 1 minute
*add mushrooms & cook, stirring, about 2 minutes
*add porcinis, the strained soaking liquid, wine, tomato paste, rosemary, s & p.
*bring to a boil, simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until liquids are almost completely reduced, about 20 minutes
*spoon on top of polenta & cut into wedges & serve

Polenta with Peppers & Tomatoes

I have recently fallen in love with polenta.  I learned Italian cooking very well back when I was a teen & first learning to cook.  I was a vegetarian back then & following Marcella Hazan's cookbooks.  They are not vegetarian books, but I learned quickly on my own how to adapt most recipes to make them vegetarian.  I don't remember if I tried polenta back then or not (I know there were recipes for it in those books), but if I did somehow I wasn't too impressed I guess because I haven't made it again up until now.  This recipe is pretty simple & is really quite good & substantial.

Polenta with Peppers & Tomatoes

3 cups water
1 cup polenta flour (coarse ground yellow corn meal)
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
salt to taste
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large bell peppers, chopped or sliced (I like to use 2 different colors)
1 can (14.5 oz) chopped tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon sugar

*lightly oil a 9-10" pie plate & set aside
*bring water to boil for polenta, SLOWLY add in polenta flour (to prevent clumping) stirring CONSTANTLY
*reduce heat, add in 1 T EVOO, 1/3 of the chopped garlic, & salt
*cover & cook, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes
*remove from heat & let stand for 5 minutes
*pour into pie plate, pressing it in & smoothing the top out
*let stand 20 minutes to firm up

*heat EVOO & add onion & cook, until softened
*add bell peppers & remaining garlic; cook 5-8 minutes
*add tomatoes, oregano, s & p; bring to a boil & simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally
*add vinegar & sugar, cook another 5 minutes or so, until thickened slightly
*spoon pepper/tomato mixture over the polenta, cut into wedges, like a pie, & serve

Italian Sorghum Soup

This is such a very easy & simple soup, yet it's quite hearty & satisfying at the same time.

Prior to learning that I have celiac disease & going gluten free this was "Italian Barley Soup".  I really loved barley in soups, but can no longer eat that.  I purchased some whole grain sorghum (actually by mistake, thinking I was ordering sorghum flour online!) & cooked it up & realized the texture is much like barley.  So I now use sorghum in soups in place of barley.  It's perfect in this recipe!  If you are not gluten free, feel free to use pearl barley instead.

Italian Sorghum Soup

6 cups broth
2 cups water
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
1 cup whole grain sorghum
salt & pepper to taste
garnish: chopped basil or parsley

*bring broth & water to boil
*add tomatoes, sorghum, salt, & pepper, combine well
*simmer 45-50 minutes, stirring occasionally

Garbanzo Romesco

I have to say that I am not much of a garbanzo fan, but this recipe I absolutely adore.  I am so in love with it & it is a regular in my kitchen these days.  My meat eating family doesn't like it much, but I LOVE it.  It is my understanding that  traditional Spanish romesco sauce is thickened with bread, but this version is thickened with almonds & I really really like it.

Garbanzo Romesco (adapted from "Veganomicon", changes made by me)

1/3 Cup almond meal/flour (you can grind your own almonds in the food processor if need be)
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
2 roasted bell peppers
olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced finely
1/4 large onion, diced
1 red serrano chile pepper, minced finely (leave seeds & pith if heat is desired, remove if not desired)
1/4 cup white wine
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
30 oz cooked garbanzos (drained & rinsed if using canned)
salt & pepper to taste

*puree the tomatoes & roasted bell peppers in blender or food processor & set aside
*saute garlic, onion, & serrano in olive oil 4-5 minutes
*add wine & deglaze pan, cooking about 1 minute
*add tomato mixture, vinegar, sugar, thyme, & rosemary & combine
*bring to a near boil & simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally
*add almond meal & garbanzos & combine, simmer uncovered 25 minutes
*add salt & pepper to taste